So literally the minute after I posted about my makeup purge I decided to swatch the new Physicians Formula The Healthy Foundation which up to that point was still unopened. When I did swatch it I realized that, although I really liked the undertone, the shade I had gotten (LN3) was a smidgen too dark, so went back to CVS and got LW2 ($15.29).
The Healthy Foundation has a quirky numbering system that alternates between cool, warm and neutral shades. The lightest shade is LC1 which stands for Light Cool 1. The next shade is LW2 which stands for Light Warm 2, followed by LN3 which stands for Light Neutral 3. Now you’d think the next shade up would cycle back to cool but, no, LN3 is followed by LN4 which is Light Neutral 4. We then jump into the Medium (MC1, MW2, MN3, MN4), Dark (DC1, DW2, DN3, DN4) and Deep (DpC1, DpW2, DpN3, DpN4) shades. For a brand that normally only offers BB creams and other bases in two shades — usually Light and Light/Med only — a foundation range containing 16 shades is a major leap forward for Physicians Formula.
The packaging’s another huge improvement. Instead of a clunky compact or plastic squeeze tube typical of most Physicians Formula products, the new Healthy Foundation comes in a sleek, weighty glass bottle. Honestly, if you covered up the brand name, you could probably fool someone into thinking this was a high end foundation.
I would’ve personally preferred seeing a pump dispenser on The Healthy Foundation but it seems to be the trend these days for concealers and foundations to sport gigantic doe-foot applicators. Think Tarte Shape Tape and Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer. I don’t have anything against doe-foots (doe-feet?) but I will say if a brand’s going to go there, they should make sure they have a good stopper inside the bottle. The first time I ever pulled the wand out of the bottle, the wand came up clean as expected but by the second time the wand was completely covered in foundation. The stopper simply doesn’t scrape enough excess foundation off the wand as it’s pulled out of the bottle. And when I go to push the wand back into the bottle the stopper forces the excess foundation on the wand up towards the top and, if I’m not careful, over the rim of the bottle. I can already tell that after a few dozen uses it’s going to be a total mess.
Although I’ve got to give credit to Physicians Formula for expanding their shade range it still needs a lot of work. I mentioned at the start that I had to make a second trip to CVS to grab a lighter shade as LN3 was just a smidgen too dark for my face. I had planned on getting LW2 originally and the only reason I didn’t was because I was worried it would be too warm. From past experience, Physicians Formula base products tend to oxidize or darken a little on my face, so my fear was that LW2 would go from yellow to orange on me once it dried down. At the time the supposedly more neutral LN3 seemed like the safer bet. Names can be deceiving though. Strangely, Light Warm 2 (LW2) looks more pink/neutral on me than Light Neutral 3 (LN3). I actually had to double check the bottles a few times to make sure I got the swatches right. But, yeah, LW2 definitely appears less yellow to my eyes. (ETA: I’m happy to report that the foundation doesn’t darken on my face, so it appears Physicians Formula has fixed that issue with their newest foundation/base product.)
The last drugstore foundation that I really enjoyed was L’Oreal Pro Glow which was medium coverage too and I’d say The Healthy Foundation offers a tiny bit more coverage than that. I remember having to layer Pro Glow to build up the necessary coverage but I didn’t mind because the foundation was so thin and weightless. With the Physicians Formula, it feels more noticeable on the skin (not heavy per se, just heavier compared to Pro Glow) but I don’t see the need to layer it. I should also mention that on my very dry skin type L’Oreal Pro Glow didn’t look the slightest bit glowy or dewy; it was more of a soft, natural matte. The Physicians Formula also looks very natural but in comparison is a little more matte when it fully dries down. Not exactly my cup of tea as I prefer dewier finishes.
One final important thing to note about The Healthy Foundation is its scent. It’s technically considered fragrance-free because Physicians Formula didn’t add any perfume/parfum to it but that’s not the same as saying it smells like nothing. The fragrance-free label doesn’t take into consideration the fact that a few of the ingredients have a natural scent. To me the foundation smells a bit like white glue when it’s wet but when it’s had a chance to dry down it has the oddest smell that I’m not quite sure how to describe. Sort of powdery, sunscreen-y, peppery and little bit medicinal. It’s not necessarily unpleasant, just different and it lingers.
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 3% Inactive Ingredients: Water/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Isododecane, Butylene Glycol, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Propanediol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Magnesium Sulfate, Schinziophyton Rautanenii (Mongongo) Kernel Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylene Brassylate, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Silica, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Evodia Rutaecarpa (Wu-Zhu-Yu) Fruit Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Cellulose Gum, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Aluminum Hydroxide, Retinyl Palmitate, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, BHT, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891).